Los Angeles has so much more to offer than year-long perfect weather and year-long traffic. For a lot of storytellers it becomes a proper character that not only helps to push the story forward, but also reveals the city's own hidden agendas and true colors. Whether it’s a dramedy about two women dealing with loss or a nostalgic coming-of-age story, Los Angeles can be as versatile and ever-changing as its residents. Here are 5 recent movies and TV shows that offer dramatically different takes on the city and its mythology.
Dead to Me (2019)
Let’s be honest: there are way too many worthy new shows and movies coming to Netflix monthly (or even weekly). And it’s getting easier to miss some good ones: there are only so many hours in the day to binge-watch yet another cool show. But if you’re looking for something quick and different, look no further than this newest addition to the Netflix family. With 10 half an hour-long episodes, it’s quicker than a lot of our Tinder dates. And in similar fashion, it leave us with a lot of conflicted emotions at the end (don't worry, season 2 is already confirmed though).
It's a story about two 40-something ladies (exceptionally portrayed by pretty underrated Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini), who meet at the grief support group and dive into soon-to-revealed-to-be-unlike friendship, that involves many twist we’re not going to spoil here. Los Angeles serves as a perfect backdrop for these two complicated characters' overly emotional behavior and uses the city’s notorious loneliness to a great extent.
A Star is Born (2018)
With a title like that, it’s only natural that a story of big love and even bigger success is set in the heart of show business (well, most of it at least). Most of the film was shot on location: Ally (Lady Gaga) lives between Silver Lake and Echo Park, while some of the movie’s most memorable live performances were filmed inside Shrine Auditorium. Want to check out the drag bar from the movie and see if there’s another Lady Gaga performing there while waiting to be discovered? You want to head to The Virgil on Santa Monica Blvd.
Under the Silver Lake (2018)
Billed as “neo-noir”, Under the Silver Lake is a multilayered story with a plot so uneven and complicated that we’d spent more time trying to make sense of it rather than let you see the film yourself. Let’s just say it’s a story about a boy (Andrew Garfield) looking for a disappeared girl (Riley Keough). It also involves a dog killer (ew, we know!), a prostitution ring, a Dracula-inspired indie band and a whole lot of conspiracy theories. In short, it’s every Silver Lake’s hipster’s wet dream or a vivid nightmare, regarding on where you stand in terms of looking for clues on a box of cereal. Yes, literally.
Johan Hill’s directorial debut is set in LA in, you guessed it, mid-90s and follows a group of local teenagers, who skate, fight, work out and do other things that are still very much popular among teenagers in 2019. The movie heavily relies on that illusive “California dreaming” state of mind and also brings back buckets of some of the coolest 90s music. Skate right into nostalgia with this one!
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
If mid-90s isn’t old enough for you, you may want to hang until “The 9th Film From Quentin Tarantino” hits big screens in late July. This wild blend of comedy and drama will be set in late 60s and will follow a TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt), but will also cover some real-time events, such as the horrific murders by Manson Family. It will also include final movie role by late Luke Perry, a quintessential player in popularization of Californian lifestyle around the world, thanks to his iconic portrayal of Dylan in Beverly Hills 90210.